Keighley Cougars retire No6 shirt after Danny Jones’s death

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The Keighley Cougars have announced that they have retired the No6 shirt squad following the death of Danny Jones on Sunday and the squad will be given the option to decide if they want to play their league match this Sunday.

The 29-year-old collapsed during Keighley’s League 1 match against London Skolars following a suspected cardiac arrest and, after he was taken to the Royal Free hospital in north London, extensive efforts to resuscitate him failed. He leaves a wife, Liz, and five-month-old twins.

Keighley are scheduled to play Coventry Bears at home this weekend but the players will decide at their training session on Tuesday evening whether they will play the game or not. A decision is expected to be publicly announced as early as Wednesday morning.

The news comes as fundraising efforts for Jones’s family by the Rugby League Benevolent Fund passed the £19,000 mark inside a matter of hours. The initial target of £1,000 was met within 15 minutes of the launch, with a number of rugby league players among those who have donated.

A statement from Keighley on Sunday night confirmed the tragic news of Jones’s death, with the club describing him as the “life and soul of the dressing room”.

“Danny was much loved and highly respected by all at the club and in rugby league,” they said of the goal-kicking full-back.

“He was the life and soul in the dressing room, a natural leader, a true professional and irreplaceable. He achieved over 1,000 points and 150 appearances for Keighley Cougars and he will be sorely missed. We are devastated. Our hearts go out to Liz, his children and his family.”

The player-coach of Keighley, Paul March, took to social media on Monday afternoon to pay tribute to Jones, saying: “I’d like to thank everyone for their support at this difficult time, we are all devastated at our loss, life is so curl [sic] at times RIP Jonesy.” Other players who have paid tribute include Sam Burgess, and the Wigan prop Ben Flower, who was a team-mate of Jones with Wales.

Powered by Guardian.co.ukThis article was written by Aaron Bower, for The Guardian on Monday 4th May 2015 18.49 Europe/London

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